My Essential Features For A Family Car

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Now that I’m a seasoned parent of a 9 year old, a 7 year old and a 3 year old and have been on many a family road trip and over 9 years of family holidays (we had Amy for 2 years prior to William), I feel ready to impart some advice for anyone considering buying a family car. Some of you are here because you’re pregnant or thinking about starting a family. When we expanded and upgraded to a family of five the old estate car just wasn’t big enough. I struggled for six months in a small car before giving in and getting a people carrier. I never looked back. So if you’re expanding your family or just want to trade in the sporty model for a more family friendly one, here are the features I enjoy about our family car to give you some food for thought:

A large boot

I was very proud of how light we packed for our holiday this year. We did have help from Grandma and Grandpa though, they took our wind breaks and beach chairs… It goes without saying really, I’ve known many parents to buy the pram of their dreams and then find out they couldn’t fit it in the boot! Don’t let that be you, or at least have a go at folding it and fitting it in the boot before you buy it. Secondly, not only will your baby seem to need enough equipment for 2 weeks away just for a trip to town, just wait until you attempt a holiday together. Next level is camping with two or more children. You’re going to need a..

Roof rack

There’s no way you’ll get all the clothes, toys, laptop (for the times when only a Paw Patrol DVD will do when it’s raining), camping equipment, car seats, children, duvets and god knows what else inside even a very big boot so a roof rack or roof box comes in handy. Either that or a trailer.

Built in Sat Nav

What did we do before sat nav? Maps and map books, that’s what we did. My map reading skills are about on a level with the toddlers above. We had to unfold large maps in the car, decipher them even in a foreign country and have lots of arguments. Even with the sat nav now there are still arguments. I never know whether it’s left NOW or left in a minute. And who the hell knows where east and north is? Just tell me to turn right by the co-op. At least it re-routes for you. She’s a bit smug though. I’d really love a built in sat nav like my parents have in their car, then it wouldn’t be a stress to keep the phone charged.

Parking sensors

Another feature my parents have that I aspire to. I hate parking, I have got better at it since getting a bigger car and with time. You have to be confident at parking when you only have a short time to do errands and the kids are bored, screaming or arguing. Throw hunger in and you’re asking for trouble. Having parking sensors would take the stress levels down a bit and make me worry less about pranging. Something I may or may not have been guilty of in the past.

A Dash Cam

When you’re being so careful but accidents (or idiots) happen, how awesome would it be to have a dash camera in your car to witness any incidents? If you download the Aviva Drive app to monitor your driving skills not only will it save money on your car insurance, it also comes with an integrated dash cam – for free! I’ve got mine installed.

Wipe clean seats

OK this one’s a bit of a wish list and maybe not so practical, but my car gets absolutely filthy because even on a relatively small trip, you have to keep plying them with snacks, sweets and drinks and if you’re really unlucky you get some vomit and wee thrown in for good measure. Comfort wins out in the end though. Pro tip: if your child is potty training use a puppy pad or bed saver pad in the car seat. My mum’s car has heated seats, bum warmers. It’s the height of decadence.

What are your essential features for a family car? Let me know in the comments, what is yours missing?

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.

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  • Reply Helen Copson

    This is a massively sore subject in our house. We had just bought a brand spanking new fancy BMW estate as our family car, then two months later discovered we were having twins (we already had an 18 month old!). So this meant three baby seats in the back, which only a handful of cars can do. Nightmare! Brand new fancy BMW went back, costing us an absolute fortune, swapped for a VW Touran so we could actually go anywhere! You definitely need a roofbox too, and yes we’ve already tried camping (with a toddler and two babies!) and still had to go to a site with a pre-pitched tent as we wouldn’t have fitted it all in. VW Transporter van is next on the list!

    September 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm
  • Reply Lorna @ Gin & Lemonade

    For us it’s room for two carseats (eventually) and enough space in the boot for my wheelchair wedged in with all the kid stuff. Love our Tucson. As for parking sensors, they kind of add to parking stress when everything beeps at once. But that may be because of my husband’s driving.

    September 6, 2018 at 4:04 pm
  • Reply Jade

    Awesome tips. When I have messy kids in the car, I use a specially made car seat protectors such as Brica

    September 11, 2018 at 9:40 am
  • Reply multi leaf spring

    Taking care of your like car it’s one of your own kids. It really is necessary to be maintained regularly to lasts a long long time.

    September 19, 2018 at 1:02 pm
  • Reply front end specialist NJ

    Some cars just needs better maintenance and conditioning. So why not go to service centers with technicians that are highly trained and highly experienced.

    September 26, 2018 at 12:47 pm
  • Reply jerry

    thanks for the sharing

    January 10, 2019 at 11:31 am
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